April 24, 2000 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Develops Next-generation TFT-LCD for Mobile Phones

Samsung Electronics has completed development of a thin-film-transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) for use on IMT-2000 phones. Samsung's new 2-inch reflective display is produced using the sophisticated new low-temperature poly-silicon process. It supports high-resolution moving and still pictures. Samsung is now in a strong position to lead the market for IMT-2000 phones, as commercial IMT-2000 service is soon to start up in both the US and Europe. Third-generation IMT-2000 will offer wireless multimedia services, including the capability to send and receive still and moving pictures in real time. Video on demand, TV broadcasts and Internet access will be available, and the black-and-white displays now used on mobile handsets will be replaced by color LCDs. Companies are trying out TFT-LCDs in sizes ranging from 1.5- to 4-inches, but the 2-inch models are emerging as the standard because of portability and battery capacity considerations. With the low-temperature poly-silicon process, the driver circuits and peripheral circuits are built in. This enhances the portability and reliability (better resistance to vibration and shock) of the handset. The 2-inch TFT-LCD can produce 260,000 color shades, the same as a notebook PC display. Resolution is a whopping four times higher (720 dots horizontally, 240 dots vertically) than competing TFT-LCDs. Through reflective TFT-LCD technology, the display uses external light instead of the back light found on notebook PCs. In addition, the display size can be adjusted to the volume of data being shown while the handset is in either standby or talk mode. Power consumption is reduced by two-thirds, as a result. A front-light is also installed to illuminate the screen even in the dark, alleviating a problem found with reflection TFT-LCDs. Samsung Electronics plans to begin mass producing the 2-inch low-temperature poly-silicon TFT-LCDs in the second half of this year. The devices will be supplied to both domestic and foreign IMT-2000 phone makers. Samsung Electronics has maintained the top share of the world TFT-LCD market since 1998. The company has been aggressively focusing technical and marketing expertise on the high-growth market for TFT-LCDs of ten inches or smaller. As part of this drive, Samsung completed development of 3-inch and 12.1-inch reflective TFT-LCDs using low-temperature poly-silicon processing in 1997. The world mobile handset market is growing very fast. There are an estimated 360 million mobile handset users worldwide in 2000, and that number figure is forecast to skyrocket to at least 1.6 billion persons by 2005. The number of handsets with TFT-LCDs is expected to top 370 million units in 2005.


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